Finding Research Programs
Important skills needed to navigate a science career include knowing where to look for research opportunities, finding financial support for your training and research, learning how to map your career steps and transitions, and identifying resources to build professional skills. NIH, educational institutions, faculty, students and professional societies provide resources and support programs designed to enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce. Professional groups geared toward an individual’s cultural identity or academic discipline provide opportunities for networking among scholars and are often used as recruiting sources for institutions and programs. On this page, we provide tips on how to find research opportunities.
Using NIH RePORTER
Join an Institutional Program
NIH supports institutions with grant awards for pre- and postdoctoral training, called institutional training grants (such as NRSA T32) and institutional career development grants (such as K12 and KL2). Search for institutions with these programs near you by using NIH RePORTER, and contact the project leader for more information. Other institutional programs that offer summer research, year-long research and can be explored the same way.
In addition, if you identify an NIH-funded researcher with a project that interests you, that researcher may request a Diversity Supplement to support your participation in that research team. This flexible administrative supplement is designed to support research engagement at a wide variety of career stages, on many types of research grant types.
Search for more federally-sponsored opportunities in STEM:
Many professional societies and affinity groups also offer research opportunities. See here for some of these groups. Another search strategy might be to look up “diversity fellowship” or “diversity summer research”.
Prepare a Proposal
NIH provides predoctoral fellowships to support individual research doctorate and dual-degree training (F31 and F30), postdoctoral fellowships (F32), as well as Career Development Awards (various K01, K08, and K23 awards, for example). Several of these are diversity-related. See the NIH Research Training and Career Development site for details. You will need to work with your research mentor and others at your institution to submit the final proposal. To learn more about how your proposal is reviewed, you can watch this video series from the Center for Scientific Review.
Consider the NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) that offer support for both extramural and intramural researchers.
In addition to NIH programs, other agencies and many professional organizations and affinity groups offer funding opportunities and seek to enhance diversity in science by supporting fellowships, travel awards, or even research grants to faculty. A partial list includes: